Process Overview

The Towson University Institutional Review Board (IRB) follows a monthly deadline system for application submissions and reviews. Read further on for how the process works. 


Next Deadline: October 18

Standard review submissions will follow the deadline and review process as outlined below. All materials must be received no later than the next deadline date.

*Accelerated and amended applications continue to be accepted on a rolling basis.


Review Timelines

Please allow time for administrative processing. You will receive a separate confirmation email with a tracking number once your application has been processed and submitted to a reviewer (on or after the application deadline), and should expect a response within 2 weeks (10 business days) for accelerated review or 15 business days (for standard review within reciept of your confirmation email. 

A note to help get you started

The PI Manual 

A Principal investigator (PI) manual (PDF/DOCX) has been developed to help researchers navigate the IRB process and complete their application. The IRB strongly suggests that all researchers refer to this manual when preparing their proposals. Click on a topic within the Table of Contents to go directly to the section you wish to read. 

Template Consent Form

The IRB has created a template consent form (PDF/DOCX) with required/optional sections, as well as recommended language that all TU investigators should adhere to. The IRB will heavily reference this template in their reviews. Please follow carefully to avoid minimum revisions after submission. 

Steps to Submission, Review and Approval

The IRB reviews all proposals for human subjects' research before the research is conducted to ensure that the research plan adequately protects human subjects.  

  1. Determine if your research requires IRB review. Not all research requires review and approval from the IRB. Your research must meet the definition of Human Subjects Research. Visit the PI (principal investigator) manual for more information on this.
  2. Determine the next deadline date you must submit all materials by. (*See below for the most up-to-date information.)
  3. If you are a student investigator: find a faculty advisor who will oversee and help guide you through your research. You must have a faculty advisor in order for your study to be reviewed and approved.

  4. Complete CITI Human Subjects Training. Please note that all investigators who are directly involved with human subjects and data collection/analysis must complete training. Please be mindful of who is considered a co-investigator and is directly involved with human subjects and data collection/analysis.

    Applications will not move forward to review until certificates of completion have been received from ALL study personnel. 

  5. Determine if your research falls under accelerated, standard, or full board review. You will need to know which kind of review your research will fall under in order to submit the appropriate application form (Request for Accelerated Review or Request for Standard or Full Board Application). 

    Note: Handwritten applications WILL NOT be accepted. All applications must be typed for clarity. 

  6. Complete your application, attach all supporting documents, necessary signatures, CITI certificates, and submit electronically to .

NOTE: The IRB no longer accepts application drop-offs. All applications must be directly emailed or mailed. 


Each month has a deadline for when applications requesting standard or full board review must be submitted by in order to be reviewed and approved within a 2-3 week time-frame of the deadline date. This is to guarantee that you will hear back on the status of your application by a certain date (usually by the 2nd or 3rd Friday of the following month).

Completed applications are due by 11:59 p.m. on the 3rd Friday of the month. Applications received after this date WILL NOT be sent for review until the next deadline. 

NOTE: IRB meeting dates may be cancelled if no requests for Full Board review are received. 


Summer Schedule

IRB applications are accepted and reviewed throughout the summer; however, there may be delays in the normal 2 week (accelerated) and 3 week (standard/full board) review timelines since reviewing faculty may be out of office during some of this time.

IRB meetings are also not scheduled to take place during the summer months. Applications received that require full board review will be reviewed during the August IRB meeting. 

The IRB does not meet over the summer, so requests for full board review will NOT be reviewed until the next scheduled IRB meeting, August 16. 

Thanksgiving & Winter Breaks

Towson University will be closed for the Thanksgiving and Winter breaks from November 27 - December 1 and December 20 - January 1. IRB reviews WILL NOT be conducted during this time, so there may be delays in receiving application confirmations and IRB comments. 

Application Deadlines IRB Meeting Dates
August 16 September 20
September 20 October 18
October 18 November 15
November 15 December 13
December 13 N/A

Note to early applicants

TU adheres to a strict deadline in order to promote fairness in review length timelines. Should you submit your application in advance of the next deadline, please note that your application will be processed, but will not be submitted for review to an IRB reviewer until that deadline date.